Monday, March 27, 2006

Sidebar:

I am dismayed.

WWE SmackDown is in town -- is going on this minute -- and I can't watch it! Waaah! Tickets sold out in like two weeks, and by the time I found out where the hell to buy them, they were GONE.

*pout*

I wanted to watch Kurt Angle kick someone's ass, dammit.

Well, as the inimitable Jayne says, "If wishes were horses, we'd all be eatin' steak."

Ah, SmackDown Live. Maybe next time, guys.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Dear Charlie:

So the property next to my mother's house has goats. I suppose they're goat-herders. Is that the term?

At any rate, the spring kids are out and frisky, and I gotta say that even my void of a heart melted as I watched those little springy-legged critters sproing around and scrabble up onto big rocks and bleat with their little pink tongues hanging out. They're so cute!

It's like they never actually take a step. They just bounce one leg at a time. Or with all four at once. Heh.

So I went to my hometown this weekend and drove around all the old roads. I had errands to run, mind you. I wasn't just wasting gas -- and who would, these days? -- or revisiting the ol' stomping grounds. But even if I had been, it would have been nice and relaxing.

See, there's really only one big difference between city and country living -- TRAFFIC.

Put aside all the convenience of a Wal-Mart in your backyard and a gas station up the block and a McDonald's within spitting distance, and the only real difference between a population of 700 and a population of 70,000 is how many cars you have to dodge on your way to Wal-Mart or the gas station and McDonald's.

I hate traffic. But I love to drive. It's a conundrum.

So I love going to the hometown because the hometown is surrounded by MILES of two-lane highway and whole REALMS of gravel roads. Heh. Plenty of room to just...drive.

Good stuff.

I didn't get to see my best friend, but I did get to spend lots of time with my mom -- always good fun -- and I babysat my brother's two youngest kids. Gah! And I think they still actually like Aunt Geebie!

I know! Who knew??

But my mom kinda stopped me short this weekend with a relatively harmless statement that just, for some reason, struck me stupid for all of three seconds. I can't even remember exactly how it was presented -- yeah, I was that short-circuited -- but it came down to hoping that sometime in the near future that I would produce a little girl to take a special name that we're both fond of.

O.o

Now, I'm sure this is normal fodder for most folks. It's almost a rule that parents want to be grandparents. But I didn't expect the statement at ALL. Heh. My older brother and eldest sister both have kids, so it's not like Mom just wants grandkids so badly that she'd look to me -- quite possibly the worst potential mother on the planet -- for someone to spoil.

And it wasn't like she was pushing me to "settle down" or even to have grandkids. Don't get that idea. To be honest, I understood exactly where she was coming from. If I did have a kid and if it did turn out to be a girl, this name would be perfect (for reasons I'm unwilling to go into at nearly 1:00 in the morning, gah!).

But Mom's never really...I dunno...talked about me having kids. At least not since my last "real" relationship ended -- and by that, I mean the one I might have considered adding a child to, as the rest have been (thanks to my best efforts) short and sweet. She knows that I'm terribly independent and have no desire for a relationship in the near future and am, therefore, extremely reluctant to have kids, and she's a good mother -- not one of those "Why aren't you doing your duty to the gene pool!" kind of folks that make me just want to have a hysterectomy and end the debate then and there.

So, yeah, it kinda came out of left field for me. Dunno what it means yet, but I'll be collating on it for a while. I don't think I have a biological clock -- if I do, either it's on stealth mode or I'm deaf to it -- but if I did, I suppose this is about the time that it would increase the volume and frequency of its doomsday ticking. Hn.

Dear God, I pray for continued deafness! Or at least a faulty alarm!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bizarro Sidebar:

Okay, so I don't get political here. I don't. This is my happy place, and I don't do politics here.

But I'm bothered. On the front page of my local newspaper this weekend, a professor of mine from college was pictured protesting the war in Iraq right here in River City (no, I don't live in River City) with a big sign claiming, "TOLD YOU SO!!!"

*facepalm*

My initial response was immediate -- "What the f--??!!"

I was just instantly pissed. I mean, I knew she was the broomstick-skirt-and-Earth-shoes-wearin' hippy-type that loved Arbor Day poems and didn't like rhyming poetry. Yes, she was my creative writing teacher, and while she couldn't help but give me A's, she clearly didn't like doing so. She never liked my topics, never liked my either dark or comic themes, etc.

I didn't write about trees. Heh.

Anyway, I guess I just never expected her to be a war protestor. Maybe I never expected ANYONE to be a war protestor. At least not anyone I knew personally.

Color me surprised.

So I just sat there, staring at that unrelenting, grainy newsprint picture and wondering just what the hell she thought she was trying to prove. I guess I can understanding protesting a war on general principles, maybe, but..."TOLD YOU SO!!!"??

Told who? Told them what?

Told the President that war in Iraq was evil? Sure ya did. Told the government that keeping our military boys -- God love 'em, and I am being entirely serious -- in a hostile country was dangerous for so long? Duh. That's what they signed up for.

Seriously. Told who what?

It seems to me that protesting a war 4 years in progress is kind of a lesson in futility in the first place. It's locking the barn door after the cow's already out.

It also seems to me that leaving such a hostile place before some lasting local order is put in place is another lesson in futility. It's like quitting your antibiotics after three days because you feel better. It will only create a stronger, mutant version of the disease you started the antibiotics for in the first place.

So why protest at all? We all want our boys home. Of course we do. We don't want a one of them hurt or killed. But...they're soldiers. It's what they do.

Sure, it's terrible that 2300+ of our brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, cousins, etc. have died. It's terrible. And I'm sure their families don't really want to hear that their loved ones died with honor in glorious battle.

But face it, folks. After four years of battle, our losses should be staggering. 2300+ just isn't that bad, comparatively. I don't even have to link to our losses in, oh, World War II. Or Vietnam.

Which brings me to another point. There's a very fine line between protesting war and protesting those who fight it. After all, the protestors are already pointing accusing fingers at our President -- TOLD YOU SO!!! -- and at the government. They already loathe and despise our tactics. How long before the cries of "baby-killer!" ring not at our country leaders but at those carrying out orders?

Sure, this is a free country. Sure, protest is a valid political tool that does, as nothing else (even a representative government) can -- give every single civilian a voice that speaks directly to the President and, indeed, the world. Sure, no one wants to be accused of being a good little Nazi.

But dammit, people, we are at WAR. This is not some indefinable thing, some police action, some future-named Bush-gate. This is war, and it will be fought. We cannot leave before we're done, or we will face a stronger, more hate-filled foe.

How do these protestors really think September 11, 2001, came to pass? Forget the conspiracy theories. What it really comes down to is that we didn't finish a war, and those left behind entrenched more fully in their hatred of us.

We cannot allow that kind of enemy at our backs. Simply put.

Sit down and protest something useful, people. Protest taxes. Protest...I dunno...poor education. Protest bad commercials.

No!

Protest reality TV! THERE'S an evil foe, right there!

That's it, people! Protest against reality TV, the evil in our midst! It's inhumane! It's atrocious! Down with reality TV!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Dear Charlie:

Good grief, it's been a week since I posted. Who am I and what have I done with GutterBall??

Heh, it's not even that I've been particularly busy, though I don't feel like I've had much free time. I haven't even been writing too terribly much...*gasp*...or anything. I did bake some sweet cream biscuits...but that was today.

*facepalm*

I suppose I just didn't do anything blog-worthy. Just runnin' around like a chicken with my head cut off. No purpose. No will. No real direction. Heh.

I have, however, kept up on my exercising/political-reading thing. I'm still pretty sure that's two wrongs, but it does seem to be making a right. I guess.

I suppose.

Shouldn't that like...crack a hole through the center of existence or something?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Dear Charlie:

I straightened my hair today. That's not quite a joke.

I was curious as to how long it's grown, and I think I'm gonna have to get it cut. Long is all right, but this is getting ridiculous. I'm not Morman or anything, so why am I so fascinated by the idea of my hair being down to my butt??

This all came about because I woke up this morning -- at the ungodly hour of 5:00 a.m.!! -- with my head cranked around and my neck painfully cramped because my hair had, my hand to God, wrapped around my arm as I rolled over. OUCH.

*rubs abused neck*

When your hair is long enough to pose a threat to your health, I think it's time to cut it. But before I do that, I had to see how long it "looked" straight. It's always amazing to see that extra four or five inches without the curl.

Anyway....

At the moment, I'm trying not to sit on my hair while I watch Serenity yet again. There's a moment at the beginning -- after the history lesson/flashback/Operative scene -- where the name "Serenity" forms out of smoke and a lone cello (at least, I think it's a cello) is playing, and then...the ship.

And I caught myself thinking, God, I love this ship. Isn't she beautiful?

And THEN I caught myself thinking, Oh, God! I've toppled over from fannishness into obsession! Gah!!

Well, so be it. I know she's digitally drawn for the outside shots, but the interior is "real". They built Serenity to full size on two sets (one for upstairs and one for down). The actors talk in the commentaries about sitting on the set between shots -- not because they had to be there, but because they couldn't bear to leave, didn't want to miss anything, so enjoyed the atmosphere.

I love this ship.

And she is beautiful, even from the outside. The digital folks did an amazing job. Those scenes from outside...astonishing in their detail and lighting and such. She's graceful, but awkward. Huge, but strangely small. Not clunky, but not delicate, either. She is beautiful, even when she's falling apart.

And that music...the music when they first show her in the movie...I could listen to it all day.

So, yeah, I'm probably obsessed, but since when is that a crime?

And after all, love is what the show/movie is all about. The crew loves Serenity, so why can't I? It all comes back to that favorite snatch of quote about the first rule of flying:

Love. You can learn all the math in the 'Verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turnin' of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughtta fall down, tells ya she's hurtin' 'fore she keens...makes her a home.

*sigh*

Friday, March 10, 2006

Sidebar:

Gah. I exercised tonight. In fact, I exercised while reading political articles.

...

Could this be the first recorded incident of two wrongs making a right??

Heh. I suppose only time will tell. The quads certainly insist that two wrongs make nothing more than a big damn wrong, but they're just whinging. We'll see if they still protest tomorrow.

When I exercise again. While reading political articles. Heh.

Yeah, I know. I don't do politics much. At least, I don't TALK politics much. There's a difference, and I think it's a crucial one.

At any rate, I stumbled into a memorable political conversation the other day -- loosely referred to in an earlier blog post -- and have found myself in a couple more such. It's weird. It's like once the dam springs even a tiny leak, the floodwaters just take over and break down all resistence.

Heh, it's a good thing I'm a stubborn bitch, ne?

But I did come across a great political article in, of all places, Popular Mechanics. If anyone's interested, I'll link to the article itself, but I also stand by my resolve to never actually discuss politics here. This is my blog, my head-space. I don't want it cluttered by the inevitable bickering that always follows even the most innocent of statements.

*shrug* Call me paranoid.

But it was more fun that it was in Popular Mechanics. Who knew??

And that's what I was reading earlier while exercising. It took an interesting set-up of my steppy-thingy and an empty knick-knack shelf thing to prop up my laptop, but I got 'er done, and much to my dismay, I made myself do the steppy-thingy until I'd finished the article.

...

It's a really, REALLY long article. Dammit.

In an odd way, it's like my poor, abused quads are protesting my thirst for knowledge. Where else do you get such a wrinkle in the fabric of space/time?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Dear Charlie:

Whew. Time gets away, don't it?

Well, after having one of the worst days in a looooong time yesterday, I must say that today was exceedingly better. Not only did some of my office compatriots stand up for me against some others, but my supervisor went to bat for me, believed me, and told me flat out that I am currently indispensible.

Whew!

No, my job was never in jeopardy, but I was called "uncivil" by someone who could have made that complaint "official" if she wanted to, and it pissed me off. I didn't go higher or even tell anyone about it, but people who were there refused to let it stand, and it will not be repeated.

I am not now, nor have I ever been "uncivil".

Plus, my supervisor also helped me file today -- for the last three weeks, I've been busting my butt covering both my job and another newly vacant one and training the new recruit (though the job is not my specialty and I'm kinda winging it) -- and gave me the nicest compliment about how neat and orderly and tidy my files are. She said that she could see an amazing difference just in the short time I've been there.

It made me feel good, because I am completely anal-retentive about my paperwork. God forbid someone should return a chart with folded-under edges or wrinkled pages! Hell hath no fury!

Heh.

But anyway, it was a very nice change from the ridiculously overwhelming pace of yesterday and that stupid comment that so threw me off my stride. Good to get through such things, though I could have preferred not to mess with it.

Plus, I've been having very interesting conversations of late. That is ALWAYS a good thing.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Dear Charlie:

Interesting weekend. Good weekend.

I got to spend some time with my brother, which doesn't happen very often. Good times. Got to talk about football, iron work (what my brother does for a living, thanks to my dad's lengthy career therein), that kind of thing. It was just...kinda nice to hang with the big bro.

Doesn't happen often anymore. We're too far apart, you know? It's a shame.

Maybe we'll work on that.

Didn't get to see my beloved sister this weekend, but hopefully, I'll remedy that soon. I wanna watch some Firefly with her soon! Gotta get in some Jayne-ogling and trade some fun quotes. 'Course, Jayne isn't really Sis's type, but she's a good sport and will try to see what I see in him. She's such a good sister!

I dragged another friend from work into the 'Verse this weekend. Poor Jody had to sit through the movie, Serenity, and the pilot episode of Firefly this evening. Heh. I think she enjoyed it, but she could have just been "enjoying" it because I so obviously was. Heh.

I'm hoping for another convert, though.

I also got to see Cannon and Ava, my best friend's little twins, this weekend, and unlike the last time I was down to home, I actually got to cuddle them. I was sick last time, see, and didn't want to give them anything. This time? No such hindrance.

Had a good ol' time cuddlin' toddlers. They grow so FAST! And they have such amazing little personalities! So precious.

No. I don't want any of my own yet. Save your breath.

*snerk*

So, saw Mom, saw Kristi and Sean and the twins, saw Dad, saw my cousin JR (no, no one shot him), saw my brother, saw some Firefly/Serenity, saw some friends....

Good weekend. Good times.

Now, I need sleep. *conks out*

Friday, March 03, 2006

Dear Charlie:

This'll be another weekend on the run. One of these days, I'll have a nice, quiet weekend.

...

Shyeah, right.

At any rate, I'm headed for the home town after work today, so I might not be around the 'net much this weekend. Mom has internet, of course, but it's dial-up. COUNTRY dial-up. It's doing good to get about 24 kbps, which made my old dial-up look damn near super-speed.

So, I may be a ghost this weekend.

Oh! And I tripped into a political discussion yesterday! What was I THINKING??

Gah!

One little comment about patriotism, and suddenly I'm stuck defending my opinions. Sheesh. 'S why I don't usually talk politics.

See, there are no opinions in politics. There are STANCES. Stances must be defended at all costs. Best defense? Why, a good offense, of course.

And the most common -- notice that I don't say "most efficient" -- offense? Full frontal attack.

That's why I usually stay out of political debate. It's difficult to have a rational, logical discussion about something everyone feels so heated about. Abortion. Religion in schools. FISA. The Patriot Act. The current administration.

They all have one thing in common: they're MINE FIELDS.

But...I couldn't help spouting a little patriotism. I am a patriot, and I get a little ruffled when I hear/read people bashing my home country. Bothers me. I'll gripe all day about the cost of gas, true, but the entire time, I'm savoring my right to do so!

Go, America! Woo-hoo!

Okay, I'm running now, or I'll be late for work. Have a good weekend, everyone!